ESPN’s John Anderson to Host The Bowerman 2016
December 1, 2016
NEW ORLEANS — For the fifth time in the last seven years, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association is pleased to announce John Anderson of ESPN as this year’s host for the presentation of The Bowerman Award.
Anderson, a fan-favorite ESPN personality, will be back emceeing The Bowerman for the second year in a row on December 16 at 7pm ET at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida.
Fans can watch the presentation of The Bowerman – collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor – live exclusively here: http://bit.ly/2dWRhwP on FloTrack, free of charge.
"We are thrilled to once again welcome John Anderson back to host the 2016 edition of The Bowerman," USTFCCCA CEO Sam Seemes said. "John’s quick wit and charisma as the host of four previous Bowerman shows is outshined only by his commitment to the sport of track & field, and we are grateful to have a host of his caliber back on board."
Anderson, who competed in track & field at the University of Missouri, recently covered NCAA Track & Field and the New York City Marathon in addition to his duties as a regular SportsCenter anchor.
He will be joined once again by sideline reporters Ryan Fenton of FloTrack and former The Bowerman winner Queen Harrison. The pair will additionally host the pre-ceremony Red Carpet Show starting at 6:30pm ET, which will also be carried live on FloTrack.
Throughout the evening, Anderson, Fenton and Harrison will meet and greet with each of this year’s three male and three female Finalists and their coaches, before one male and one female will ultimately be awarded collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor.
This year’s finalists are Donavan Brazier of Texas A&M, Oregon’s Edward Cheserek and Arkansas’ Jarrion Lawson for the men, and Texas’ Courtney Okolo, Georgia’s Keturah Orji and Mississippi’s Raven Saunders for the women.
Brazier broke a 50-year old collegiate record in the 800 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, surpassing the old record by nearly a full second.
Cheserek amassed five NCAA distance titles on the track in 2016. He won the 3000 and 5000 and anchored the winning distance medley relay indoors, and swept the 5000 and 10,000 outdoors.
Lawson won a historic combination of NCAA Outdoor titles in the 100, 200 and long jump – a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since Jesse Owens in the 1930s. He also claimed the NCAA indoor long jump title.
Okolo broke the outdoor collegiate record at 400 meters and won NCAA titles both indoors and out in the 400 and the 4×400 relay.
Orji broke the American and collegiate records in the outdoor triple jump, and won NCAA titles in the event both indoors and out.
Saunders broke the indoor and outdoor collegiate shot put records and won the NCAA Outdoor title in the event.
Four of this year’s finalists proved their mettle against the best in the world at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Okolo won a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics as a member of Team USA’s 4×400 relay, while Orji was fourth in the Olympic triple jump final with a new American Record, and Saunders was fifth in the Olympic shot put final. For the men, Lawson was fourth in the long jump final.
While they were making their marks at the Olympic Games in Rio, former winners were building on their growing legacies as the best in the world.
Ashton Eaton, the 2010 men’s winner of The Bowerman, captured his second career gold medal in the decathlon.
His was one of three golds won by former Bowerman winners, as both genders’ 2013 Bowerman winners – Derek Drouin and Brianna Rollins – captured Olympic titles in their respective high jump and 100-meter hurdles events.
The inaugural class of 2009 also went two-for-two, as Galen Rupp claimed bronze in the marathon and Jenny Simpson won bronze in the 1500 meters.
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ABOUT THE USTFCCCA
The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) is a non-profit professional organization representing cross country and track & field coaches of all levels. The organization represents over 10,000 coaching members encompassing 97% of all NCAA track & field programs (DI, DII, and DIII) and includes members representing the NAIA and NJCAA, as well as a number of state high school coaches associations. The USTFCCCA serves as an advocate for cross country and track & field coaches, providing a leadership structure to assist the needs of a diverse membership, serving as a lobbyist for coaches’ interests, and working as a liaison between the various stakeholders in the sports of cross country and track & field.